Irish hotel harnesses power of nearby waterfall to become carbon neutral

Falls Hotel and Spa in County Clare has used water power from a nearby waterfall to gain carbon neutral status as part of its five-year sustainability plan.

One of the most important issues facing the world today is finding ways of living and working sustainably. Well, one Irish hotel has taken on the task and has gained a much-coveted carbon neutral status.

Falls Hotel and Spa in County Clare has harnessed the power of a nearby waterfall to offset its carbon footprint and gain a carbon neutral status as part of a five-year sustainability plan.

A move in the right direction – steps towards sustainability

Falls Hotel and Spa in County Clare.
Credit: Facebook / @FallsHotelandSpa

Guests will be delighted to know that upon entering the Falls Hotel and Spa when it reopens later this year, they will leave no carbon footprint.

Thanks to a series of energy-saving and waste reduction initiatives, the County Clare hotel received the award for carbon neutral status by Green Hospitality Ireland after eliminating its carbon footprint over five years.

In its bid to become carbon neutral, the Irish hotel installed a €1.3m hydroelectric turbine on the nearby River Inagh, which generates enough water power to provide electricity to the hotel.

Sustainable initiatives – combating the climate crisis

Irish hotel achieves carbon neutral status.
Credit: Facebook / @FallsHotelandSpa

Other projects undertaken by the Irish hotel in their bid to achieve carbon neutral status included switching to renewable electricity and Bio LPG gas, using water from the hotel’s very own well, and planting 350 native Irish trees on the hotel grounds.

A green team was also set up to encourage compliance with the hotel’s sustainable initiatives, such as using compostable cups and cutlery, reducing food waste, and using chemical-free cleaning products.

A picturesque location – Ireland’s stunning scenery

The Burren in County Clare.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The Falls Hotel and Spa is set in one of the most beautiful parts of County Clare in the Burren, close by to the Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, so conserving the natural world around has been a priority for the hotel.

As part of the Burren Ecotourism Network, which aims to establish the Burren as an internationally recognised sustainable tourism region, the McCarthy family who owns the Falls Hotel and Spa have always been conscious of their environmental impact.

General Manager Michael McCarthy said, “We are delighted to receive this recognition, especially given the huge investment we have made with our hydroelectric plant.

“With 140 bedrooms, a leisure centre, and a spa complex, we went from having a large carbon footprint to being carbon neutral in five short years; it’s a massive achievement.

“Being based in an area of such natural beauty as the Burren, we felt compelled to do our best to minimise our impact on the area around us.”

Other sustainable hotels – looking to the future

Irish hotel has had carbon neutral status since 2019.
Credit: Facebook / @hoteldoolin.ireland

As this Irish hotel harnesses power of nearby waterfall to become carbon neutral, we take a look at other Irish hotels that have made moves towards sustainability.

In 2019, the Hotel Doolin in County Clare became Ireland’s first carbon neutral hotel after implementing a number of initiatives such as banning plastic bottles and single-use items, harvesting rainwater, and offsetting carbon emissions in a nearby woodland.

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